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From The Socialist newspaper, 3 March 2010

The hounding of Tommy Sheridan

Need for public inquiry into activities of News International

Tommy Sheridan, photo IS

Tommy Sheridan, photo IS   (Click to enlarge)

THE MURDOCH empire's vendetta against prominent Scottish socialist and a leader of the mass anti-poll tax campaign of the late 1980s and early 1990s, Tommy Sheridan, is well known.

Over the last four years, Tommy has been involved in a titanic battle with powerful enemies, including the Scottish Crown office and News International.

They seem desperate to make him pay for his role as an uncompromising fighter for working class people and the humiliation suffered by the NoW when Tommy Sheridan defeated them in a civil defamation case in 2006.

Tommy, who defended himself, was awarded 200,000 in damages by a jury - not a penny of which has been paid by the Murdoch rag.

The Scottish Crown Office has since spent millions of pounds of public money in pursuing a libel action against Tommy Sheridan and his wife Gail.

The most recent revelations about the insidious methods used by NoW and News International will raise even more questions about why, and in whose interests, the decision was taken to pursue a libel action against Tommy Sheridan.

It also underlines the fact that the only side any socialist or class-conscious worker can be on in this battle is Tommy Sheridan's, and not that of Rupert Murdoch and NoW.

A full public inquiry needs to be held into the activities of News International. All police files and information held in relation to the NoW's actions should be handed over. Such an inquiry needs to be open and democratic and made up of elected and accountable representatives, including from the workers' and trade union movement.

Billionaire

The fact that a billionaire like Rupert Murdoch can wield so much influence is an indication of how, under capitalism, our media is neither fair nor impartial - but ultimately is there to defend the prevailing capitalist system and the abuse of power and control by a rich and powerful elite.

It is a system whose press, almost without exception, is prepared to peddle the lie that working class people should pay for a crisis they did not create.

At the same time the rich bankers and top bosses can get billions in bonuses and wages beyond the dreams of millions, who are facing unemployment and savage cuts in public services.

We need a democratic press. To achieve that we need to end the control by powerful interests of our TV screens, radio, newspapers and even the internet, by carrying through a programme of democratic public ownership of the media.

It would then be possible to ensure democratic access to the press based on an allocation of media resources to different ideas, including socialist views, dependent on their levels of public support, and ensure an end to the scandalous abuse of power perpetrated by the billionaire media monsters.

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Coronavirus crisis - Finance appeal

The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.

The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.

The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.

  • The Socialist Party's material is more vital than ever, so we can continue to report from workers who are fighting for better health and safety measures, against layoffs, for adequate staffing levels, etc.
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In The Socialist 3 March 2010:

Fighting for jobs, services and conditions

PCS: All Out to Defend Jobs and Services

Stop council cuts


Youth fight for jobs

Invest in jobs, education & Training

Cut the working hours, not the jobs!

Portsmouth students and workers unite to fight cuts

Brighton students say: Save our nursery

EMA inadequacy impacts badly on students


International socialist news and analysis

Building action across Europe

Greece - millions take part in general strike

Spain: Thousands join mass demonstrations


Socialist Party news and analysis

The fairytale world of RBS

Nationalise the energy giants

Activists launch socialist challenge

Walsgrave hospital Coventry: Stop the parking charges rip-off

Fast news


Socialist Party workplace news

Where is the BA cabin crew dispute going?

Smash the bosses' construction blacklist!

Leeds lecturers win concessions - but cuts remain to be fought

Workplace news: In brief


Unison

Unison general secretary election: Nominate Roger Bannister

Legal ruling exposes hypocrisy of Unison leadership


The Socialist Interview

FBU general secretary speaks to The Socialist


Socialist Party women

Women will be at the fore in the fightback!


Media

Global media monster News International condemned

The hounding of Tommy Sheridan

Savage cuts planned at the Beeb


Football

Supporters should own Pompey, not developers


Socialist Party feature

The worldwide thievery of big business


 

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